The Life Expectancy of a Diabetic…

June 16, 2007

imagesrtyui.jpgI was reading through several articles today and one study that struck me is one that calculated how long a diabetic can live.  It is known that a diabetic patient is at risk of developing heart attack in his lifetime but how about the effect of diabetes on how long a diabetic can live.

It is known that being a diabetic increases ones risk to develop heart disease. In this study, having diabetes was shown to significantly increase the risk of developing cardiovascular disease (hazard ratio 2.5 for women and 2.4 for men) and of dying when cardiovascular disease was present (hazard ratio 2.2 for women and 1.7 for men).  Suggesting the need to be vigilant in targeting the prevention of the different risk factors that will increase this risk. 

The author of the study which was published in the June 11, 2007 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine also said it straight to the point in heartwire: “We showed that diabetes cuts out about eight good years of your life. While diabetics and nondiabetics have a similar number of years with cardiovascular disease, the disease process starts earlier in diabetics.

 Effect of diabetes on life expectancy with and without cardiovascular disease at age 50 years (men)

Life expectancy (y) Without diabetes With diabetes
Total life expectancy 28.8 21.3
Life expectancy with CV disease 6.8 7.1
Life expectancy free from CV disease 22.0 14.2

Effect of diabetes on life expectancy with and without cardiovascular disease at age 50 years (women)

Life expectancy (y) Without diabetes With diabetes
Total life expectancy 34.7 26.5
Life expectancy with CV disease 6.6 6.8
Life expectancy free from CV disease 28.0 19.6


The above table shows that a diabetic at 50 cuts his life expectancy by 8 years!!!!

The study authors explained this finding that :” diabetic patients reach the final stages of the movie prematurely by missing out on some of the best bits in the middle.” These findings underscore the importance of diabetes prevention for the promotion of healthy aging. Toward this end, it is essential to implement global strategies to change the current Western lifestyle and to promote the adoption of physical activity and healthy diets.”

The fundamental objective of everyone therefore at risk of developing Diabetes is to implement strategies of lifestyle changes that can reduce ones risk to develop the disease…. meaning…

Prevention Is The Key To Long Life Span!

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7 Responses to “The Life Expectancy of a Diabetic…”

  1. Jonathan Says:

    Better tell my mom Doc. Me too, I should start being careful. By the way, what’s my risk of developing diabetes because my elder brother is now having a sugar reading of 135. Will I get it soon?

  2. Doc Gerry Says:

    Jon, since one of your siblins is now a diabetic… you have a 50% chance of developing diabetes. If you are obese, have a sedentary lifestyle and poor eating habits, then your risk will increase above that of genetics.

  3. maxim Says:

    I have relatives who are elderly diabetics in their mid-seventies. Their usual complaints is why do we deprive them of what they really want to eat and instead give them some leeway in enjoying the few remaining years of their lives.

    This situation makes me think too of “what is quality of life” for them.

  4. Doc Gerry Says:

    Good point Max…The average life span however has increased over the years. We now see a lot of pts over the age of 90. So if you’re mid seventees, and indulging in poor eating lifestyle because of the “I’m Old- Let Me Enjoy” theory, then the risk fo getting a stroke is high that may hit them before age 80. Living beyond 80 therefore will be a burden which for sure is not ” quality of life”

    The word deprive is however not true. We caution them not to over indulge. Patients can eat but not over eat. A plate with rice, 2 slices of meat/fish, a cup of veggies and a fruit should suffice to make one feel full. I recommend patients to leave the tables after the plate full of food is finished to avoid eating out of habit.

    Thanks for your comments Max….

  5. Natasha Says:

    Hi Doc, I’m wondering if this all applies to both type 1 and type 2 diabetics? Also as an insulin dependent diabetic since age 19 who had poorly controlled sugars for approx 8 years do u believe i’ve significantly increeased the likelihood of a much shorter lifespan??? Cheers

    • Doc Gerry Says:

      Natasha… its the rise of blood sugar that causes the harm… so whether typoe 1 or 2… the bootomline is get that sugar well controlled. Go to your doctor NOW


  6. […] The Life Expectancy of a Diabetic… « That Health Rules – imagesrtyui.jpg I was reading through several articles today and one study that struck me is one that calculated how long a diabetic can live. It is known that a diabetic patient is at risk of developing heart attack in his lifetime … […]


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